April 18, HNA Retailing has completed the acquisition of Lewanjia Supermarket Co. Ltd. and will injects its newly acquired asset into Jiadeli Supermarket before launching an initial public offering, China Business News reported on Monday, citing an unnamed source close to HNA Retailing.
 
The retail unit of Hainan Airlines Group acquired a 51% stake in Lewanjia Supermarket—based in Meizhou, Guangdong province— on Saturday. The deal came three days after Chinese media reported that HNA Retailing was planning to acquire an 80% stake in Hunan-based Jiarunde Supermarket.
 
The latest acquisition marks HNA Retailing’s first entry into the southern China market and a strategic step forward in its expansion, the paper said.
 
Established in 2005, Lewanjia is one of the fastest-growing retailers in Guangdong, the paper said. It currently owns 22 stores.
 
Commenting on the deal, HNA Retailing said it would focus on improving its retailing operations in the Meizhou market, the paper said. The retailer also said it would aim to diversify into finance, logistics and the internet in the local market.
 
“HNA Retailing has been focusing on the western China market, but now we’re moving into broader areas in North, South and Central China,” Zhang Yi, chief executive officer of HNA Retailing, was quoted as saying.
 
Citing an unnamed source, China Business News on April 13 reported that HNA Retailing was buying Jiarunde Supermarket and would inject it into Jiadeli Supermarket, a Shanghai-based company acquired by HNA Retailing last year for RMB 900 million.
 
“Be it Jiadeli or Jiarunduo or Lewanjia, HNA Retailing is clearly targeting regional retail giants, and the company is eyeing an IPO for Jiadeli Supermarket — after absorbing sufficient assets,” the source told the paper today.
 
The source said that should HNA Retailing be looking at an A-share listing for its retail assets, Jiadeli Supermarket would be a qualified vehicle as it has been profitable for three consecutive years — a regulatory requirement for a mainland China IPO.
 
The source said more acquisitions are to be expected by HNA Retailing as its parent company aggressively pursues revenue growth this year. HNA Group hopes to increase revenue five-fold from RMB 2 billion last year, according to the source.
 
According to an HNA Retailing blueprint reportedly seen by the paper, the retailer is aiming to become one of the most competitive first-tier retail chain operators in China by 2015. That could beyond the financing capabilities of the company, analysts say.
 

SOURCE: en.21cbh.com
 
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